Bilingual blog

Som ni kanske märkt har jag nu börjat uppdatera på både engelska OCH svenska, detta eftersom jag enligt's statistik har en del träffar varje dag som jag gissar är från olika sökmotorer. Det blir mer lättillgängligt om det även står på svenska tror jag!


As you may have noticed I have now begun to update in both english AND swedish, this because I according to's statistics function get hits everyday and I suspect they are from search engines such as Google. The blog will also become more accessible to those who have no patience with long english texts, even I haven't sometimes!

Viking coat finished

Vikingakappan är nu klar! :)

Den är helt handsydd med efterstygn på överdelen och vanliga förstygn nere på längderna och på de ställen som inte utsätts för mycket påfrestning. Efterstygn ger en något hållbarare söm - går tråden av så kommer inte hela sömmen repas upp snabbt som med förstygn, utan ta längre tid på sig eftersom de är sydda i en slags bakvänd rörelse, fast framåt. Haha, ni förstår vad jag menar.

Efterstygn ger även ett mindre vågigt utseende på utsidan av kläderna, speciellt om man har fällt sömsmånen som jag gjort. Det har jag gjort för att sömmarna ska bli mindre synliga.

Jag syr med dubbelvikt björntråd eftersom jag vill kunna göra alla möjliga akrobatiska rörelser utan att behöva oroa mig.

Nu har jag även beställt tyg till en ny hängsleklänning! Uppdaterar när den är på G. :)





The viking coat is now entirely finished! It is hand sewn with backstitch on the upper part and regular running stitch on the seams that are less likely to be stretched. Backstitch gives a somewhat stronger seam - if the thread breaks the seam won't unravel as quickly since they are sewn in a kind of... backwards motion. You know what I mean :)

Backstitch also produces a less "wavey" look on the outside of the dress, especially if you have sewn down the seam allowances like I do, to make the seams less visible.

I sew with strong double threads to allow myself to be acrobatic without having to worry. :D

I have also ordered the fabric for the new apron dress and I will update as it is evolving.


(Click to view)

Viking coat started :)

Jag lever! På hösten och vintern dör alltid min inspiration och sylusta, men nu hade jag tänkt komma igång igen. Denna gång med en senapsgul vikingakappa. Yllet jag hade var ganska långsmalt, 95 cm x 3,5 m för att vara exakt, så det blev lite trixande med mönsterdelarna, men absolut inga problem! Den totala tygåtgången var ca 2,5 m på längden och hela bredden.

I Inga Häggs bok "Kvinnodräkten i Birka" (1974) står: "I åtskilliga gravar finns rester av en tröja, som burits över kjolen. Den var av ylle, samma fina importvara som tidigare, och var försedd med applikationer såsom sidenremsor eller mönstervävda band. Tröjan hade en mycket vid öppning mitt fram, som hölls till över bröstet med dräktens tredje spänne. Spännets nål var trädd genom öglor av textilt material, vilka satt fastsydda i plaggets båda framkanter."

Nu behöver jag bara en lite finare hängslekjol för att komplettera, men det blir ett senare projekt.


Fyra paneler, ganska stor ville jag ha den för svängrum. Kilar från höfterna och ner och kilar i armhålorna för rörelsefrihet.



I'm alive! On the autumn and winter my inspiration and lust for sewing always fade. But now I'm returning, this time with a mustard yellow viking coat.  The wool fabric I got was pretty long and thin, 95 cm x 3,5 m to be exact, so I had to put the pattern pieces together like a jigsaw puzzle, but it was no problems! The total usage of fabric was in the end 2,5 m and the whole width.

In Inga Hägg's book "Women's dress in Birka" (1974) she writes: "In many graves there are remains of a jacket, which has been worn over the skirt. It was made out of wool, the same fine trade product as before, and was accessorized with applications such as silk stripes or pattern weaved bands. The jacket had a very wide front opening, which was gathered using a third brooch. The needle of the brooch was thread through loops of textile, sewn onto both of the front edges."

Now all I need is a new apron dress to complete the look, but that will be a later project.


Finished dress taking form

This was my final sleeve pattern. The curve on the top of the sleeve is so that you won't have that much loose fabric under the arm and at the same time get more ease at the shoulder. It also causes the seam of the sleeve to be in the back, in my case about 8 cm from the shoulder seam.  Of course, there's a strip of linen on the opposite side of the buttons on the sleeves as well, I just hadn't attached those yet when I took the second photo.


Now you can see the finished dress taking form. It turned out as I imagined, however, I have a few doubts: the upper part of the sleeves are very loose. I don't know if I'm going to keep them that way since it's going to be an overdress anyway, or take them in. I am also thinking about taking it in just a bit in the back, I'm not used to wearing non-tight dresses and I like the comfy and steady feeling of a tight bodice. I don't know yet whether I will do this or not. Hmm!

After all, it's an overdress so I didn't want it to be super-tight anyway.

I'm also a bit worried that the neckline in the back is too low and that it might cause the sleeves to slide down, but I didn't experience that while trying the dress on even with another beneath. So I think it will be fine.


I have some things left to do, I have a few seams left to flat-fell and also hem the dress in the bottom. But that's quite boring so I think I'm gonna take a small pause, hehe, since I'm going to my mum's house over midsummer anyway. There I'm thinking about making wool mittens! :D Won't be so difficult or take that long, I think :)


Bye for now!

Buttons on! With guide.

Squeee! Now all the buttons and holes are in the front opening! Attaching all the buttons took probably two hours or so, and I did it in front of the second season of "Parks and recreation" ;P

I learned how to make the buttons from a very nice and helpful girl in my local SCA group, which I'm happy about!



Making all the holes took about 3 hours and I did that watching a movie. I was really nervous because once you cut the slize through all the three layers of fabric there is no turning back - and very little chance to cover up a mistake. However, everything went just fine! I secured the edges of the holes with tiny tiny "blanket stitches". I deliberately made the holes a bit too narrow to prevent the buttons from jumping out.


The outside (it looks messier on this over-exposed photo than in real life) and the not very pretty inside.

The holes are quite stiff and feel really safe, although I admit it doesn't look that way :)


Trying the dress on, I'm over all pleased. It is not milimeter perfection we're talking about but it looks pretty, genuine and nice just like hand sewn things should look :)


I drew a little guide for making wool buttons, I hope it makes sense... I never thought any of the guides and tutorials made ANY sense at all before I learned how to make them myself. It sounds and looks harder than it is, but it's actually really easy once you've mastered (well...) the technique!


Showing it off a bit

As you can see everything is done except for sleeves, buttons & holes and a few more things.

Now I will be making buttons, buttons and more buttons!



Front opening and flattened seams

Haven't made huge much progress since the last post, but I have some more photos now.

This is the front opening (without buttons of course), which is finished. It is hemmed with a tiny stab stitch. I haven't used this technique before and I'm happy with the outcome - it looks flatter and more clean than had I just hemstitched a folded edge like I use to do. I'm a bit worried that the fabric and lining together will be too soft for the buttons and buttonholes and that the stress will cause it to stretch. Therefore I will probably add a strip of linen on each side soon.


The seams are all sewn down for a cleaner less bulky look on the outside.  The pic in the middle is the inside of the front gore. It sure took some time... And on the right is the gore from the outside.


Don't pay attention to all the cat hair :D

At the moment I'm waiting for cash so that I can buy more thread and finish sewing on the last gore. Then we'll see!

Huge blue dress progress

Damn, I'm fast! In two days I have already cut all the pieces and I'm almost finished sewing them all together by hand, using tiny backstitches as always. The wool I'm using is very light weight so I thought I might as well treat the wool and the lining as one, and stitching through four layers was no problem.

Click on the thumbnails to enlarge!


The front and back panels. As always made by inspiration from instructions in "The medeival tailor's assistant".


Main fabric and lining stitched together (the seams will be flat, hiding the fraying lining when finished).


Cutting the gores.


An almost perfect row of backstitches.


I'm only lining the upper part of the dress and the sleeves. When everything's sewn together I will start making the buttons and also move onto the sleeves (I'm saving them for last).

The dress parts:

Bye for now!

Toile for grey/blue cotehardie

Just finished making a toile in some green linen I had left. I fitted it on top of my red wool dress since I want the new dress to be a lined (warm) overdress to wear on top of others.

(By the way, I'm still really astonished of the red dress... how on earth did I get it so perfect and snug? I REALLY need to make a new toile in wool- since linen and wool behave differently when stretched - and actually keep it this time, just as perfect, so I can use it to make new dresses like the red one :) But that's a question for later.)



Snug cotehardies with buttons on the front and sleeves are commonly seen during the latter half of the 14th century (and probably early 15th too). Often worn with yet another dress above with sleeves that hang to the floor and open at the elbow to show off the buttoned sleeves beneath. However, mine will be the over-overdress :) And probably occasionally worn with just a tunic beneath, if it doesn't turn out like a huge tent. (It won't.)


Now I have cut the toile apart along the seamlines and when I get myself some new pattern paper I will trace it onto that. And also, buy the lining fabric.

So long!

Modified hood

I decided to modify my black hood a little bit. I have always found it a tiny bit uncomfortable, and also, it doesn't keep me warm at all so I use it mostly for wind protection.

However, after the last Double Wars I decided that I had to do something about the freezing-as-hell-situation and line my hood (and eventually the cloak, or make a new one) and also make it a bit longer over the shoulders, and wider in the back. I also decided to keep the front open with buttons so I won't have to ruin the hair every time I put it on. I learned to do the buttons just recently so they are not perfect but what the hell.


I really don't consider my simple hood to be very precious so I didn't exactly aim for perfection... I think it turned out MUCH MUCH better than before though! Now it's actually comfortable to wear.

Finished green

I did not have time to document the progress on the olive green kirtle. However, here is a picture of the finished dress from a couple of weeks ago :) As always it looks better in real life. The linen wrinkles as hell though :(


Olive kirtle plan

Today I ordered 3 meters of fine olive/green linen from Medeltidsmode, which is my favourite company to buy fabric from. The service is great.

I'm thinking a really simple sleeveless kirtle for summer. I love working with really fine linen, it doesn't wrinkle as easy and it's so soft and nice. I could just live in my blue linen kirtle, and I wish I could fine more linen as wonderful as that. I've never liked the stiff linen you have to wash ten times or use a lot before it softens. But maybe it's worth the patience.



(Woman in orange dress to the left, Heures de Charles d'Angoulême, late 15th century France)



(Jan van Eyck, Heures de Turin, c. 1420, Flanders)


I haven't decided yet whether or not to add front lacing. It depends on me finding a foolproof way of executing it without it looking absolutely horrible.

My viking clothing

Here I present to you my two very humble pieces of Viking clothing (approx. 10th century), loosely based on Birka findings. I don't own a pair of 'regular' brooches yet, so here I've used Penannular brooches to tie the apron dress together, I also usually hang strings of beads between them. I made the apron dress with four panels, the pattern was really easy to draft, it's basically four rectangular pieces with a slight trapezoid shape to allow more movement. I got the inspiration for that particular dress here, a swedish info-website on historical clothing. The tunic underneath is a very basic gored linen one. The apron dress reaches just beneath my calves.

I'm seriously considering adding brick-weaved band to the apron dress, because it is a little bit boring at this state :P




Spring/summer projects?

The spring is almost here and soon the summer will be, before I even get the chance to say "fabric?".

At this exact time last year I finished off my first acceptable piece of medeival clothing, a sky blue sleeveless 15th century kirtle in linen, a really simple thing with 2 panels and gores at the sides, front and back. Like this one. Still use it, because it's sooo comfortable.

After that I bought (shit)loads of wool at a Viking fair and finished a red fitted gown, a hood, and a cloak in time for Double Wars and then a set of Viking clothing and the last Kampfrau. It's a very little amount of clothing if you think of it, but I had only a year. I didn't sew anything in the autumn.


I have so many ideas for this spring and it's so hard to choose! Wool is usually not cheap either.


This is what I have to make:

- One or two more sleeveless linen kirtles for the summer, I will die if I only have wool to choose from, that's for sure. Probably variations of the one I previously linked, but with lacing and/or open in the sides from waist down.

- New wool gown, most likely a 15th century fitted thing, somewhat like my red one but with lacing or buttons, possibly with short sleeves.

- Loads of headdresses.


This is what I don't have to, but want to make:

- More Viking age pieces, like a cloak and/or coat.

- A burgundian gown, v-necked with fur edges! I also need an overdress, something warm.

- A 14th century mi-parti gown. Speaks for itself, with the right colours it can be so beautiful.


Gah, decision-making is killing me! I should really do what I've heard is effective: buy a couple of yards of a pretty fabric and decide afterwards what I will make of it. It seems like the only way to get things done for me :P


Tiny update

This is how the partlet looks on me. I dunno, I guess I'm okay with it, it works, you know. But I think I will make a circle-shaped gollar as well, just to have more things to choose from.

The things I have left to do on the kampfrau outfit:

* Finish the wrist part of the sleeves. Haven't figured out exactly how to finish them off yet.

* Barett. I want a BIG round hat with loads of feathers on! Weeeee!

* New underskirt in linen, I have one but it's all tattered and torn after the last Medieval week (:P)

* New shirt, or attach smocking to the neck on the old one.

* Hose

* Shoes, maybe.


I will keep posting here when I make all those things!

Current project: Viking coat, hand sewn
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